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Mexico announces end of Trump-era migration policy

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HUIXTLA, MEXICO: The migrant caravan advances along the coasts of southeastern Mexico, Huixtla for the second consecutive day on June 07, 2022. (Jacob Garcia - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 26, 2022 - 02:18 AM

MEXICO CITY (AA) – Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that a Trump-era immigration policy had officially come to an end.

Through a press release, Mexican authorities disclosed that the US Department of Homeland Security had announced the end of the Migration Protection Protocols.

The controversial policy, commonly known as “Remain in Mexico,” was enacted by then-US President Donald Trump in January 2019. It forced migrants seeking asylum in the US to wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court cases, which could take months or even years.

The Biden administration had tried to end policy with a memo released in June 2021, but the state of Texas sued to force them to continue it, resulting in a nationwide injunction. The administration argued that the injunction should be vacated but the Court of Appeals disagreed and litigation continued over the policy.

The US Supreme Court ruled in June this year that President Joe Biden could end the policy.

The Fifth Circuit formally lifted the injunction following the Supreme Court ruling, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas officially terminated the policy in a memorandum on June 1, 2021.

On Aug. 8 this year, the Northern District of Texas lifted an injunction that required the Department of Homeland Security to reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols, leading the Mexican government to terminate the program in its territory.

The Mexican government has pledged to procure migrants still enrolled in the program with humanitarian aid, including COVID-19 tests and medical attention for positive cases, while continuing to guarantee their safe stay and protection in Mexico.

According to some critics, the program, imposed by Trump through threats against commerce and tariffs against goods imported from Mexico, subjected migrants to danger while they awaited a response to their cases on Mexican soil.

In the memo explaining his decision to terminate the policy, Mayorkas contended that while effective, the “Remain in Mexico” policy imposed “substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico.”

Although the policy has ended, last week, Mexican and US authorities agreed to enforce mass deportations of Venezuelan migrants under Title 42, another Trump-era policy, which ensures the barring of foreign asylum seekers under the pretense of disease control.

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